Sons of Temperance
Ritual of the Love Degree
Prefect gives one rap, and says: Brethren: we are now about to open the Love Degree. The officers and brethren, will clothe themselves in Love Degree regalia, and take their places.
Prefect says: The First Herald will see if any of the officers are absent and report.
The First Herald reports, and the Prefect fills their places.
Prefect says: The First and Second Herald will examine all present in the pass-word of the Love Degree.
The Heralds examine all present; if all are correct, they give the Prefect the sign, and answering sign, of the Love Degree; if any are incorrect, they omit the signs. All present, who cannot give the pass-word, must retire, to be reported by the Warders, and vouched for by a member present, before the Prefect can admit them.
First Herald says: The brethren are all correct, in regalia, and in their proper places.
Prefect gives three raps, calls up. Brethren sing:
Brothers, bound in love for ever,
One in name, and one in heart,
Let no foe our union sever,
None our friendship ever part,
Keep our chain still bright, my brothers,
Free from stain and free from rust;
Oh! see not its strong links, broken,
Rudely trodden in the dust.
Prefect calls down, and says: I now declare this Degree duly opened.
Prefect gives one rap, and says: The Heralds will see if there are any candidates in waiting to be initiated into the mysteries of the Love Degree.
First Herald says: Brother … is in waiting to be initiated.
Prefect says: Brother Auditor, is brother … clear of all charges on the books.
Auditor of Accounts says: He is clear.
If he reports him in arrears, he cannot be initiated until all dues are paid.
The Heralds clear the ante-room, and conduct the candidate to the inner door. The candidate gives … raps. The Second Warder answers with … raps.
Second Warder says: Who knocks?
First Herald says: A brother who seeks admittance into the mysteries of the Love Degree.
Second Warder says: Who vouches for him?
First Herald: A good report among the brethren.
Prefect says: Admit him.
Prefect calls up as the candidate enters; members sing:
Hail! brother, hail! the heartless world
Lures with its lying wiles
Come to our banner, free unfurled,
Where truth celestial smiles.
True banded brothers here we meet,
Here friendship’s bright links shine
Oh! may we all each other greet
At Love’s eternal shrine.
During the singing the candidate is led round room, and in the front of the Prefect.
Prefect calls down. First Herald says: Prefect: I have the pleasure of introducing you to our worthy brother …, who desires to be initiated into the mysteries of the Love Degree.
Prefect rising says: The brethren of the Love Degree, require of you a solemn pledge of honor; are you willing to take that pledge?
Candidate says: I am.
Prefect says: Place your right hand on your left breast, and repeat after me the words of our obligation.
I solemnly pledge my honor as a man, to the brethren of the Love Degree, that I will neither make, buy, sell, nor use as a beverage, any spirituous, or malt liquors, wine, or cider. I will not only abstain from their use, as a beverage, myself, but I will at all proper times, and places, discourage their use in others.
I furthermore pledge myself, never to disgrace, nor cast a stain upon the high, and honorable name of a Love Degree brother, which I have this night voluntarily taken upon myself; but I will always cherish my friendship for the brethren of the Love Degree, and I will prove it by my fraternal conduct.
I lastly pledge myself, never to reveal to any one not entitled to receive them, any of the signs, passwords, ceremonies, or other private affairs of the Love Degree. To faithfully keep all these my binding pledges, I solemnly promise.
Officers say: We solemnly promise.
Members say: We solemnly promise.
Prefect calls up. Members sing: ‘Tis Love that makes the Seraph’s song;
‘Tis Love the ransomed sing;
Let man the lofty theme prolong,
The glorious anthem ring.
For every good on earth below,
And every joy above,
Which man expects, and angels know,
Is but the gift of Love.
During the singing, the Candidate is led round the room, and in front of the Chaplain.
Prefect calls down.
Chaplain, (an open Bible lies before him,) rising says: Brother: in this sacred volume, laying his hand upon the Bible you will find written: ’God is Love’; ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind; this is the first, and great commandment.’ ‘The second is like unto it: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.’ ‘On these two commandments hang all the law, and the prophets.’ ‘For Love is the fulfilling of the law.’
It is love which causes the earth to bloom, and bring forth food. It is love which makes ft a happy dwelling-place for man in his pilgrimage through life. It is love which wipes away the tear from the eye of the afflicted, and lights up the face of the sorrowful with joy. It is love which prompts us to help the widow, and protect the orphans of a departed brother. It is Love which sits by the bedside of the dying, and wipes away the dew of death. It is Love, we trust, which has brought you here. May you be faithful to the solemn obligations which Love imposes, and which you have voluntarily taken upon yourself.
Prefect calls up. Members sing: Love is the golden chain which holds
Creation in its span;
And- nature, bound within its folds,
Fulfils her author’s plan.
Love is the sweetest, strongest tie
Which God to man imparts;
It lights his heavenly home on high,
And- links angelic hearts.
During the singing the candidate is led round the room, and in front of the Past Prefect.
Prefect calls down.
Pasr Prefect, rising, says: Brother, you have taken upon yourself a solemn and important obligation. We receive you among us as one who has taken a higher and firmer stand in the great Temperance cause. Brother, a mighty moral influence has gone out from among us, like a strong giant, ‘conquering and to conquer.’ Its tread is now shaking the throne of skulls, upon which the demon king of intemperance has so long reigned in horrid triumph. Brother; renew, and double all you efforts, stay not your hand, nor cease to lift your voice, until the glory of our eternal principles everywhere prevails.
Before the Prefect stands a small table, upon it, a neat triangular block of wood, on its top, a triangular block of iron; also a neat hammer; together with a light iron chain, composed of oval lap links closed: loose open lap links lie upon the table.
The Heralds conduct the Candidate to the table, in front of the Prefect.
Prefect (rising) says: The chain before you is the symbol of the Love Degree. It represents our union. And thus you see each link unite to make one chain; so each and all of us unite in harmony, to form the chain of our fraternal union.
First Herald says: Each link in this symbol of the Love Degree represents a member: their number, the number of the brethren. Let this impressive symbol always remind you of our mutual dependance on each other.
Second Herald says: To signify that you are about to link yourself to us, unite this emblem (gives him an open lap link) of yourself, to the symbol of the Love Degree.
The Second Herald instructs him how to link it, gives him the hammer, and lays the link upon the anvil.]\
Prefect (rising) says: Brother; strike the entering signal of the Love Degree.
The Candidate strikes … blows upon the open link, and closes it. Prefect calls up; members sing: With joyful hearts sing, brothers, sing,
Who hear the mystic anvil ring;
Hail, brothers, hail, with vocal strain
Another link in friendship’s chain.
May no disunion ever part
The chain that binds each friendly heart;
But only death, on life’s last brink,
With lingers cold, divide the link.
During the singing, the Candidate is led around and to the centre of the room. The members form a circle around the Candidate and Heralds, by joining hands.
First Herald says: This is to remind you that you are now within the circle of the Love Degree. Keep within that circle, and the united brethren will always stand as they now stand around you, to guard and protect.
Second Herald says: Brother; I now break the circle to unite you to it. Does so: the Candidate joins hands in the ring. May you be a strong and a bright link in the chain of our fraternal union.
Prefect calls down; members break the circle and retire to their places. The Candidate is led in front of the Vice Prefect.
Vice Prefect (rising) says: By authority committed unto me and by virtue of mine office, I now clothe you clothes him in the red regalia of the Love degree; and declare you, in the presence of these brethren, a Love Degree brother, of the order of the Sons of Temperance. And may the regalia of Love you now wear near your heart, be a talisman to keep you and protect you in the path of duty.
The Candidate is led to the Past Prefect.
Past Prefect (rising) says: Brother, I will now instruct you how to enter a Love Degree.
The password and the explanation of the Love Degree are whispers them. The entering signal is … raps. On entering a Love Degree you will advance to the centre of the room, and salute the Past Prefect thus explains the salutation he will do the same; then clothe yourself in Love Degree regalia, and take your seat.
Here the Candidate signs the Constitution.
The Heralds will now conduct you out, and teach you how to work your way in a Love Degree.
The Heralds conduct the Candidate out; after he has worked his way, they present him to the Prefect.
Prefect (rising) says: Brother, I will now instruct you in the sign, and answering sign, of the Love Degree, and also teach you how to examine, and prove, a Love Degree brother.
The sign is … gives it; it signifies ‘Love dwells in Heaven.’ The answering sign is … gives it; it signifies ‘So may Love dwell on earth.’
The password, and explanation combined, are given in syllables: one syllable alternately, as follows: ….
You ask for the password, your brother says, ‘You begin.’ You say, ‘I’ll divide it with you.’: Your brother says, ‘You divide it.’ You say: ….
Here the Prefect instructs the Candidate how to divide the password and explanation combined.
He who begins the examination must always give the first syllable, you then give the next, and so on. If he makes any mistake, or cannot give the proper syllable, you must neither correct him, nor instruct him, but end the examination. This examination must always be made in a very low tone, beyond the hearing of others, and with extreme caution. Always be exceedingly cautious when you syllable the password and explanation. For your instruction, the Heralds will now give each other the sign, and answering sign of the Love Degree. They give them. They will also conduct an examination, in a low tone. They examine each other.
Prefect calls up, and says: And now, having duly initiated and instructed you in the mysteries of the Love Degree, I give you the right hand of fellowship, gives it. Welcome, brother. The officers will do the same.
The officers advance, shake hands with the candidate, and say: Welcome brother.
The members will do the same.
The members advance and do the same.
Prefect calls down.
Prefect calls up. Members sing: As stars in order shine above
With constellated light,
So let the blended rays of Love
Shine in our Order bright.
Illume affliction’s night with gleams
Of blessed light alway,
And only fade before the beams
Of an eternal day.
Prefect gives one rap, and says: I now declare this Degree closed.